I have been learning the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) in my spare time.
I was having one heck of a time figuring out how to not have horrible normal map seams every where on my model. So I thought I would give a real quick run down of some of the pitfalls that I have learned to avoid. (If you have any further tips for static meshes in UDK it would be awesome to hear them!)
Here are the first steps that I have taken, importing in static meshes from Maya (Using Actor X, type in axmesh; in the command line or the script editor.)
I'm exporting my models with all soft edges, normal maps generated in Maya, Green channel on normal map is flipped, then export with default settings.
Now make sure when you import your normal maps into UDK to choose a compression type of normal map or uncompressed normal map, other wise you will get really bad normal map seams.
Also if your static mesh is going to have a lightmap baked using lightmass make sure to add a second UV set in Maya for the light map. Make sure that all UV's are in the 0-1 space, all UV shells can be pushed to the border edge of the 0-1 space, but you must give a large pixel padding around all of your UV islands.
Another thing to watch out for is to make sure none of your UV's are backwards (they make sense in terms of where they are in the world space, left has to be left, right has to be right and up and down has to be up and down.)
Also make sure you have no overlapping UV's. Hope these little tips helps you out, because I was banning my head for about 2 weeks trying to get rid of really bad normal map seams.
I recorded the video above of me running around in my little test level. (Just trying to learn editor concepts right now before I move onto the real deal.)
Sorry for the frame rate, my computer wasn't liking me running the game and recording the screen at the same time. It's time for a new computer, I think I have pushed this one to the limit!
The latest thing I am trying to learn is how to add my characters as SkeletalMeshes and have morph targets/blend shapes drive the facial animations.
If you would like to download the latest Maya and UDK example files then please visit this link at ShareCG.com
I have added a thread on the UDK forums to somewhat document what I am trying to create. You can follow this link to see this thread.
Edit 3-18-2011: I have created about a 30 minute best practices video for moving your work from Maya into UDK.
NickZ HeavyDemon UDK Tips- N- Tricks Video 001
The topics covered int the video are:
Maya Grid Set Up
Clean Geo For Export
2nd UV Layout (Lightmass) Tips
Loading Actor X
Moveable Dynamic Shadows
Setting Up Morph Targets For Kismet